Did you know it’s never too early to begin teaching empathy, civility, integrity and conflict resolution? Each of these has at its core an understanding of mutual respect. Family mealtime is SO important; yet teaching your kids proper etiquette can be a daunting task. It’s never too early to start teaching your children proper manners.
1. Be specific. Telling a child to simply be polite, can sometimes be too vague and is all or nothing in terms of success or failure.
“Wait your turn,” or “use your napkin” are much more specific and measurable.
2. Kindness and Manners and Shares – oh my! Focusing on too many skills at once can be overwhelming for children and parents. If Thanksgiving is coming up you might choose to work on basic table manners: Christmas – please and thank you; if school is just around the corner – taking turns.
3. Tap into your child’s personality or mood and use what makes them tick.
– Kids who love to play sports might respond to games that employ friendly competition and reward.
For example: You want them to help with the yard work so, have a contest – first one to fill her bag with leaves gets to stop there and is done. If ages vary greatly simply give younger children smaller bags.
– Kids who love to be creative
You might ask your child to draw pictures of opposites: Sharing a toy vs. not sharing a toy, using a napkin vs. using a sleeve etc.,
– Kids who procrastinate
Privileges on credit have got to go “bye, bye”.
“Yes, you may watch TV as soon as you’ve put your laundry away.”
-Is there a child who doesn’t love story time?
Take advantage of this opportunity by choosing books that might encourage a discussion about kindness, being polite, manners etc.
-Music and rhyme: There are lots of songs, poems and sayings out there like:
Clean up, clean up
Clean up, clean up
Everyone does his share
Or you and your child can make up your own: One we use in our house when we need to be somewhere on time is:
“Hustle your bustle muscle”
4. Self Examination. Kids are watching and they are more likely to follow your example than your words.
If you catch yourself being critical of others, impatient, selfish or telling a “harmless lie” stop and think how you would respond if it were your child who was acting that way.
5. Admit mistakes. Children will respect us for it and be more likely to own up themselves.
“I’m sorry, I realize I just interrupted you.”
We found these new Table Manner Cards from Golly Gee-pers.
They also have a Sticker Chart you can download for free.
JBF is hosting a giveaway of one set of Table Manner Cards to 1 lucky winner. This giveaway has a retail price of $12.95.
Please enter by leaving a comment below telling us what age child you will be using these cards with if you win or oenter via the Rafflecopter box:
This giveaway will end Saturday, November 7, 2015 at midnight EST and a winner will be announced on this post once the giveaway ends.